OTW Fannews: What’s in a name?

Banner by Natasha of spring green with dozens of female figures & one male figure in a different color

  • While ‘Fangirl’ is a much less used term in the media than ‘Fanboy’, both often come in for a shellacking when they do appear. WhatCulture.com used it when citing 10 Moments That Gave Fanboys A Bad Name. Perhaps, for once, women benefited from being erased since at least half the examples they cited occurred in predominantly female fandom circles.
  • VentureBeat meanwhile argued that ‘Fanboy’ is an overused term. ” I realize that no one can simply grab the Internet by the shoulders and ask it to stop crying “fanboy!” every time someone shows their enthusiasm for something. But that’s not what this article is about. The point I’m trying to make by writing this is that a person’s point of view may not be clear over the Internet and that during a discussion, the gaming community should make an attempt to understand where the other side is coming from.”
  • Meanwhile Apex Magazine argued that ‘Fangirl’ isn’t a dirty word. “We’re battling decades of institutionalized sexism, racism, and imperialism. We’re working on it. We may still be struggling with all of the —isms but we’re clawing our way toward second wave fandom, particularly when it comes to female fans sharing the dais. We recognize that women really do game, read comics and geek out over all the things guys geek out over. But even in this enlightened age, the gendered term ‘fangirl’ has become a casual slur, used with impunity to mock and ridicule a certain type of fan.”
  • It’s certainly not difficult to spot troubling issues that fans face — whether it’s receiving offers to turn pro in all the wrong ways, finding a hostile environment for female professionals and fans alike at conventions, being exposed to demeaning reactions to one’s appearance when posting YouTube content, having one’s fannish endeavors misrepresented to a general audience or having only certain kinds of fanworks appear in the spotlight. But labels can be an enduring problem, especially when they’re misused.

How do you see fanboys or fangirls talked about? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Fannews: Awesome creations

  • Mother Jones wrote about Jennie Lamere, who recently won the “best in show” award at the national TVnext Hack event by helping fans avoid spoilers on Twitter. She did it by writing “Twivo, a new program that allows Twitter users to censor their feeds from mentioning a certain TV show (and its characters) for a set time period.” She was the only solo woman participating. “Hackathons (which have nothing to do with illegal hacking) bring together programmers, developers, and designers, who compete to code an innovative new program in a limited amount of time.” Lamere has already been approached by a company to market her creation. “She came up with the idea for Twivo the night before the competition, and it took her 10 hours and 150 lines of code to complete.”
  • Fan creativity isn’t just becoming a given, it’s beginning to be demanded as well. Kotaku posted about “Little Witch Academia…an animated 30-minute short released by Studio Trigger on YouTube” which was “produced as a part of the ‘Young Animator Training Project’.” Noting that anime fandom had successfully instigated a series from their response to an ad, writer Patricia Hernandez urged them to do the same with this project.
  • While non-scripted TV shows tend to lag in terms of fanwork creations, there’s at least one fan video out there, “Hold Up, Bro” that can make people take note that they exist. “Lisa Ferreira recreated last week’s episode in Legos, showing how three idols led to Phillip’s exit. It’s fantastic and kind of shocking that Legos are so effective at representing Survivor cast members and locations.” Ferreira then added ” a full-length song and musical number…written and performed by Lisa and her brother Matthew Willcott.”

What cool fanworks have you seen lately? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Events Calendar for October

Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of October! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

  • The multimedia, multi-fandom slash convention Connotations will be held for the tenth time from 5 October to 7 October in Durham, England. Unique features of Connotations include the large on-site zine library and the fact that all panels are voted on and selected by fans.
    More information about Connotations on Fanlore
  • Celebrate the achievements of women in science and technology in honor of Ada Lovelace Day on 16 October. Lovelace was a 19th-century writer and mathematician whose writings inspired the development of modern computers. The day is marked by thousands of individuals blogging about women the admire in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • The opportunity to further support women in open technology and culture is always available with the Ada Initiative. The international nonprofit sponsors AdaCamp, a series of technology camps for young women, in addition to events and conferences that support and engage women in open source work. The Ada Initiative is currently holding one of their annual fundraisers through 31 October with a goal of 1000 donors to help sustain their work.
  • Join chemists around the world in honoring Mole Day on 23 October with this year’s theme of ‘Molar Eclipse’. The celebration occurs annually on this date from 6:02 AM to 6:02 PM and is derived from Avogrado’s number – ~6.02×1023 – which defines the number of particles in one mole of substance. Commonly celebrated in high schools to get students interested in chemistry, the holiday is also supported by the U.S.-based National Mole Day Foundation.


A Call for Submissions this month comes from the Australian Law Reform Commission in response to the issues paper Copyright and the Digital Economy.

“This Issues Paper is the first formal publication of the Inquiry, intended to help frame discussion and encourage public consultation at an early stage. It provides background information about copyright in the digital environment, highlights the issues so far identified in preliminary research and consultations, and outlines the principles that will shape the ALRC’s proposals for reform.”

Responses are due via the online submission form no later than 16 November 2012.

The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that’s not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!